Youth dog show competition sees record high entries

DIXON, Ill. – Youth from across the state competed for top honors at the State 4-H Dog Show held at the Granny Rose K-9 Enrichment Center in Dixon on Aug. 27. A record 204 youth competed in this year’s competition.

“I attribute the large turnout to kids being excited to have a guaranteed live show this year, along with big numbers in the new Rally classes that we have added,” says Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H animal systems educator. "Rally classes combine the fun of dog agility with traditional obedience."

4-H members who excel in the 4-H Dog project are encouraged to compete at the local 4-H dog obedience contest for a chance to advance to the Illinois 4-H Dog Show. Competition in both obedience and showmanship are held at the county and state levels. 

“The 4-H dog project is a great program that allows kids to have fun while instilling responsibility, work ethic, and technical skills,” says Jennings. “It is easy to see their work pay off and on display in the competitive showring.”

This year, Dante Ketelsen of Whiteside County was named the State 4-H Champion Senior Showmanship honors. Zander Blottiaux of Lake County received the State 4-H Champion Junior Showmanship honors.

youth poses with a dog
Senior Showmanship Winner Dante Ketelsen

State High Point Beginner went to Grant Alexander of Knox County and State High Point Advanced went to Kyle Miller of Ogle County.

First place honors also went to Ava Ackerman of Winnebago in the Beginner Novice 1 Class, Tiag Hertsberg of Will County in the Beginner Novice 2 Class and Rally Novice Class, Katlyn Miller of Ogle County in the Preferred Novice Class, Grant Alexander of Knox County in the Novice 1 Class, Trevor Westphal of Kendall County in the Novice 2 Class, Molly Ziegler of Ogle County in the Open Class and Rally Intermediate Class, Kyle Miller of Ogle County in the Graduate Novice Class.

Those interested in learning more may contact their local Extension Office.

For Further Information Contact:

News Source: Dan Jennings, 4-H Animal Systems Educator,

News Writer: Carissa Nelson, 4-H Media Communications Manager,

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.